Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Sometimes when it rains, it pours.

When I switched my career focus from finance to marketing and strategy jobs, the reception from recruiters improved significantly. Even though I have no direct experience in theses areas, these recruiters seemed more interested in my indirect skills, like financial analysis, writing, and modeling. So with that interest, I was able to generate more traction with potential employers. Now I have two jobs. (Any one else remember "In Living Color?" Hey, Mon. You lazy! You only got two jobs!! But I digress...)

In addition to the position in brand development, I am also working in strategic analysis for a major media company. Much of my time in this position will be spent doing strategic analysis on competitors, modeling, and doing fun stuff in excel. I'll also be working from home in this position.

The thing about working from home, is that actual work doesn't take as long as it would if I were in the office. You don't have to commute. You miss all the time consuming recaps about so and so's weekend escapades. And you don't have to hear repetitive stories about other people's children and how smart they are. Now, don't get me wrong - I love the kiddies. I just don't know if I want to hear a play-by-play every morning about little Johnny's run to capture 16th place in the local spelling bee. So without all the filler, work just takes less time when you work for home. And so I have enough time to do two jobs.

I'm really glad to have both opportunities. I believe both experiences will position me well for my full time job search (yes - I'm starting to think about this already!!) I'm already learning a great deal from both jobs.

I am a little weirded out by the fact that these companies trust me to do work in areas I've never worked. It's as if the they think that the first year of an MBA program endows special powers on an MBA candidate. It's a little scary actually. So right now my days are spent reading a lot so I don't sound like a blathering idiot when I speak to my bosses and colleagues. I hope I live up to expectations.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Sometimes I wish I lived in a reality tv series. Not so I could be caught on camera and embarrass my family. No, I wish I could be on a reality series, so I could vote people off the island and out of my life when the start to act like absolute LOONS. Like that Johnny guy on Strip Search. Never in all my reality tv watching have I seen this level of crazy. That guy is absolutely insane.

Speaking of crazy, I'm getting sick of Tom Cruise. Now I'm generally up for watching people make absolute fools of themselves. But he just needs to shut up. If I see him jump on a couch one more time, I think I'll scream. He's so annoying - and now he thinks he's qualified to talk about the validity of using medication. That's probably when he crossed the line into annoyingness for me. When he started villifying sick people for getting the help they need. Shut up, Tom Cruise. Just shut the h--- up.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

One of the things I do to pass my time when I'm not working, is peruse the S2S and BW boards. I was reading a post about Harvard and saw a post from Alex Brown, the formerly omnipresent Wharton adcom that made S2S what it is today and is, (in my opinion) one of the main reasons Wharton's admissions process (love it or hate it) is so transparent. I truly believe that transparency reflects a lot about Wharton's culture. But I digress.

What really caught my eye in the post was Alex's signature. It turns out Alex has moved on to Clear Admit. When I was applying to business schools, I had a consultation with Graham at Clear Admit that was extremely helpful, and the Clear Admit Blog has always been a great source of up-to-the-minute b-school admissions info. I'm sure the addition of Alex to the ranks should be great for Clear Admit. Congrats, Alex!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Well I finally have a job! Woo hoo!

I was lucky enough to get a job that I can do remotely, and I'm extremely grateful for that. It's a brand development job with a start up.

Now, you may be saying, "Brand development? Where the heck did that come from? Didn't you want to do investment banking?" After some soul searching and some research, I've decided to pursue strategy and product development.

How did I arrive here? Well up until April I pursued banking. I applied to boutique firms, and then I shifted my focus to public finance, thinking that my nonprofit financial background would find a friendlier reception. As the banking opportunities dried up, I looked into corporate finance at a corporation. But the positions seemed boring to me. But I figured since I've been a finance girl since undergrad I should continue to pursue that path.

Then it was time to pick out electives for next year. Because I was a finance major, I looked at the finance classes. I wasn't interested in many of them. And so I gave myself permission to switch majors. So based on the classes I’ve loved this year and electives that interested me most, I added Marketing to my majors. I may still try to double major in Finance.

Why Marketing? My favorite class this year was marketing strategy and what I loved about that class was the SABRE simulation. We had to make strategic decisions about product placement, advertising, channel promotion, product development, etc. I really loved the creative aspect of the project. And the creativity coupled with the analytical aspects of marketing are what interest me most. I initially picked finance in undergrad because I was good at it. Not that finance isn’t kind of interesting. But what really perks up my ears is creating and developing stuff. What I realize now is I can crunch numbers and be creative, too. Switching will allow me to do something that appeal to a more multidimensional me.

So I decided to pursue jobs in marketing and product development. The funny thing is, in comparison to my struggles to get a position in finance, an area where I have experience, seeking a marketing job has been MUCH more fruitful. I have my theories why- maybe because it was late in the recruiting season, maybe because I have quantitative skills, maybe because I was more passionate about these positions. I’m not sure why. But I do know that the interview process for these positions confirmed my switch. Not because I got more interviews, but because the interview questions were much more interesting to me. The interview questions made me excited about the projects I would potentially do this summer.

I’m glad I switched. I don’t know what this means for my full time job search. Hopefully it won’t be as rocky of a job search. But even though it was rocky, I wouldn’t change the experience. Because it allowed me to learn so much about myself and through the experience I discovered a better path for me.

So I have a job! Woo hoo!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

After I lost my phone in March, I got the cheapest phone available, a Motorola V180, to replace a phone I LOVED, a Samsung E105, because T-Mobile didn’t carry the phone anymore. I will NEVER AGAIN get the cheapy cheapy phone. The Motorola V180 sucks big time. Reception sucks, the phone scratches easily, and it feels like cheap plastic like you’d find on a toy. Well I didn’t realize the magnitude of the phone’s suckiness until I broke my leg. Before my mom arrived to take care of me, my wonderfully terrific, awesome friends were taking care of me. Well one morning they stopped by my apartment to bring breakfast, and guess what? They couldn’t reach my cell phone. Now I assumed they forgot about me. They assumed I fell in my apartment and was lying unconscious. Finally, after a half hour of calling me, they screamed up, I let them in, and all was well. Well except for the cell phone. It just didn’t ring. And the ringer was on. So I tried to make a call and nothing. So I rebooted the phone and it started working. (Who knew phones needed to be rebooted nowadays?) It was then that I knew I HAD to get a new phone.

So after a bit of research, I decided I wanted a Samsung X475. It was cute. It was in my price range, and I loved my last Samsung. Well, T-Mobile didn’t have the phone in the upgrade program, so I’d have to pay full price for the phone at a store if I really wanted it. Since my phone was still sort-of working, I decided to wait.

Well while I was waiting, I learned that T-Mobile was getting a cool new phone, a Motorola V330. It has a camera, which I’ve never had on a phone before. It records video, has voice dial, it has Bluetooth, and EDGE. Now of course because it has all these bells and whistle, it was WAY outside of my price range. And I hadn't really been pleased with my Motorola phones. (Every phone I've owned and that has ever been crappy has been a Motorola.) But I was really intrigued by the prospect of having a Bluetooth phone. So I bit the bullet and got the phone.

I just got a Bluetooth headset to pair with the phone and it is so COOL. I absolutely love it. I can position the phone to get the best reception and then use the headset to talk. It’s so cool.
Now I’m all about Bluetooth, which I never really got before. I just got a Bluetooth adapter for my laptop and printer. And I’m thinking of upgrading my Palm to Bluetooth. I don’t use my Palm much because I always forget to sync it with my laptop. And whenever I do remember, I can’t find the cord. So I don’t sync my PDA. The problem is while I tend to remember the events and meetings I need to attend, I NEVER remember the room the meeting is in. So usually about 1 minute before the event, I’m running around Huntsman looking for an open computer so I can find out where the heck I’m supposed to be. If I could remember to sync my Palm, the Palm would be perfect in those situations.

If I had a Palm with Bluetooth, I wouldn’t have to use a cord, and because it’s more expensive and way cooler, I’d probably remember it better. At least that will be the theory I’ll rely on to justify another expensive tech purchase.

Friday, June 10, 2005

When I first saw the trailers for the Mr. and Mrs. Smith movie, I thought hey that looks like "hey, that looks like a good movie - kind of The War of the Roses meets Mission Impossible." And I was pretty sure the movie would be a major blockbuster.

But then Brad and Jen had to go and break up. And there were rumors of husband stealing by Angelina Jolie.

So now it's not clear how the movie will do. But I've got a theory (and no it isn't bunnies...) If people believe that the Brad and Angelina relationship has been confirmed, it's doomed for failure. (See Jersey Girl (which was a half way decent flick), Proof of Life, Eyes Wide Shut, and Vanilla Sky for examples.) Why - two reasons. 1)People get sick of hearing about hollywood couples and 2) The middle of the country doesn't think too kindly about infidelity. BUT if people believe that the Brad and Angelina relationship is just unconfirmed gossip, the movie will do REALLY well. Why? Because people will go to the movie to see the chemistry in order to determine if there is a Brad and Angelina relationship. I personally believe they have mastered tetering on the cusp of innuendo and confirmation, so the movie should do pretty well.

On an unrelated note, I have been pleasantly surprised by the reality TV offerings this summer. Yes I am a reality TV junkie. Yes I know this type of television is worthless and has contributed to the degeneration of the moral fiber of our country. Oh well, I find this stuff damn entertaining. Some of my favorites of the new stuff include "Hell's Kitchen," and "Beauty and the Geek." And then there's the old standbys, "The Supernanny" ('This behavior is UNACCEPTABLE'), "Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno II," "Trading Spouses," "Bridezilla," and of course, "Queer Eye." I'm not too fond of "Hit Me Baby One More Time" (boring as all hell), "Dancing with the Stars" (also boring as all hell), "Fire Me, Please" (what's up with the laugh track), and "Britney and Kevin: Chaotic" (okay, I haven't actually seen that one but I'm not really trying to watch THAT train wreck). I'm looking forward to new installments of "Real World," "Average Joe," "I want to be a Hilton," "The Cut" (I missed it last night), "The Surreal Life," "Welcome to the Neighborhood," and "Big Brother" (which is boring but damn addictive!)

Sorry to ramble on about things completely unrelated to school, jobs and the like. This is the life of an invalid! Sad but true. I should have more interesting things to talk about soon - but more on that later.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Oooo – I’ve been tagged! The Ice Man has taken time out of his escapades in Las Vegas to pass the torch.

Okay here goes....

Last Five Books Read
Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – I just started this one. When I went to see “Star Wars” a few weeks ago (which was VERY good in all it’s corny glory), I saw the trailer for this movie,. Given my love of all things related to Harry Potter (new book July 16th!) and The Lord of the Rings, I thought I might like this book. It also has a lot of religious imagery, and I like religious fiction. So far, it’s been a quick read, and a perfect escape for being cooped up with a broken foot. Technically, this book is actually a collection of a seven book series. I’m on book 3. It’s been a good distraction.

State of Fear by Michael Crichton – After I saw the movie “Jurassic Park,” I read the book and fell in LOVE with Michael Crichton’s writing. I’ve read every one of his books except Eaters of the Dead, The Great Train Robbery, The Terminal Man, and his nonfiction stuff (I hate nonfiction). About every few years, he publishes, and I’m usually one of the yahoos who rushes out and buys one of his books. I have to say I was a little disappointed with this book. Somewhere around the middle it kind of loses its direction. It starts to feel like some unorganized rant against the media. I had to force myself to finish the book.

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown – I loved Da Vinci Code, although I agree the ending wasn’t very good. But beyond the ending, which really wasn’t all that bad, I thought it was an EXCELLENT read. So I was very excited to read my second Dan Brown book. Man, can this guy totally screw up an ending. While the book was pretty good, the ending TOTALLY ruined the reading experience. It was like I suddenly descended into crazy world in the last 100 pages of this book.

The Godfather by Mario Puzo – My mother had been trying to get me to read the progenitor the of “Godfather” movie trilogy for years. So I bit the bullet and read this very gory but pretty good book. At least I know what “going to the mattresses” means. Reading this book has helped me understand boy speak just a little bit more.

Winner Take All Society by Robert H. Frank and Philip J. Cook – This is a book about how competition can lead to waste in our society. So much in our society is set up around competition. The winners of competition (whether it be winner of the Indy 500 or who gets the IB gig at Goldman Sachs) get big payoffs. The big payoffs attract more people to compete in competition. For instance, thousands of kids around the US are vying to become professional athletes. But less than 1% of them will actually make it and only a small subset of those who make it actually get paid big bucks. So for the other 99%, society would be better served if they focused their efforts elsewhere – but the tournament payoffs discourage logical reallocation of resources. We actually read an article in Managing People at Work that supports the books premise – the article said that competition is not always good in the workplace because it can be discouraging to those in second place. The book is okay. I don’t really like nonfiction (did I mention I hate it?) and when you add in the fact that this book is repetitive and the logic is somewhat flawed, this booked was doomed to make on FMG’s list of unfinished reads.

Favorite Five Books
The Eight by Katherine Neville – I love love LOVE this book! It’s got everything I love – adventure, intrigue, parallel story lines, puzzles, a love story, AND the French Revolution. It moves incredibly fast and is full of riddles. What more could a girl ask for? J’adore ce livre..

Tara Road by Maeve Binchy – Maeve Binchy is an incredible author. I’ve also read Circle of Friends and Copper Beech, which were both pretty good. The reason why Tara Road is one of my favorites is because the characters are so well developed, and I felt really involved with what happened to them throughout the book. At one point, I became so angry at one of the characters, I threw the book across the room. Whenever I’m that passionate about a book, I know it’s a damn good read. And Tara Road is a damn good read.

House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III – You may have seen the movie with Jennifer Connolly and Ben Kingsley, and it’s a pretty decent movie. The book is infinite-times better. Again the characters are VERY well developed. And there’s no clear protagonist and antagonist. It’s just a book about life – and how one little thing can screw things up for you. This was another book that I threw across the room, I was so wrapped up in what was happening with the characters. And just an amazingly well written story. It’s probably my favorite book.

Sphere by Michael Crichton – Michael Crichton is my favorite author, and of all of his books, Sphere is my favorite (followed closely by Jurassic Park and Disclosure.) I guess I liked this one because it was so imaginative. As with all his books, it’s a fast read, very suspenseful, and even a little scary sometimes.

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling – Technically I guess this counts as five books, and I know it’s a little juvenile, but I absolutely love the series. I’m one of the goobers who preorders the books so I can start reading the release date. And once I get the book, I read it straight for 2 days, only taking breaks to go to the bathroom and to eat occasionally. Ya, I’m a Harry Potter nerd. But at least I don’t have any Harry Potter collectibles. Well, I do have a Harry Potter Christmas ornament but that’s it I SWEAR!!! (Only 37 days til the Half Blood Prince!!)

So that’s it, I guess. And because like Wakechick, I HATE chain letters, I will spare y’all by not passing the tag. Sorry but all the vicodin and percoset has made me cranky, lazy, and uncooperative! If you feel so inclined, please tag yourself on my behalf.

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